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of the controversy between God and sinners, is the express article which constitutes the righteous character, and draws this line of diftinction among men. From this cause of unbelief, the minds of the sons-in-law of Lot were in a great measure in a state of indifference as to the controversy itself; infomuch, that they could not enterprize, and take upon them boldly the hazard of standing up for the cause in which the family were involved in such great peril. . And the same cause which had induced in their minds such coldness and langour respecting taking an active and bold part in the interest of Lot and his guests, operated, in like manner, to render them heedless and indifferent to the alarm of danger, from the impending destruction of
Lot, as well as Abraham, had a large conçern, and his household consisted, doubtless, of some hundreds of souls; and it is natural to suppose, that his sons-in-law were the heads of his household, and that it was through the unbelief, and consequent ftupor of these men, that they were all loft.--Oh, what a charge will the heads of families and households have to answer for, in the day of accounts!
Having discharged this message, and given his commands to his sons-in-law, Lot returned in halte to his family; when affairs had arisen to an alarming height; the day drew on, and the hour of action approached, and the voice of the angels began to sound like thunder; saying, Arise, take thy wife, and
tły two daughters which are here; left thou be confumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hard of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters: and they brought him forth, and
set him without the city. At that momentous crisis, the merciful and sovereign Lord himself arrived; he never comes too late to save his people, who have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. And when they had brought them forth abroad, he faid, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay in all the plain: escape to the mountain left thou be consumed.-The ministers of vengeance were now in the act of throwing off their covers, and taking arms to execute their orders, and were turning about in battle array against the city, Alas! Lot soon became sensible of the importance of the moments he had loft by lingering in Sodom; and he now felt, that without some further intervention of mercy, he mult perish after all.
Wherefore, almost breathlefs and ready to sink under the weight of the gathering cloud, he addressed himself to his sovereign, and entreated the good Lord, that a litle ci. ty, which was near by in the plain, might be given to him as a city of refuge-And Lot said unto them, Oh! not so my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy fight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou haft shewed unto me in saving my life: and I cannot escape to the mountain, left yet the evil overtake me, and I die. Behold city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one :
Behold now, this
Oh! let me escape thither; (is it not a little öne?) and my soul shall live. And he said un- . to him, see, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou has spoken. Hasle thee,escape thither; for I cannot do any ihing till thou be come thither: therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
See now a man escaping for his life! But his wife looked back from behind him; and at the sight of the unveiled face of the angel, she became petrified, and followed on no
Remember Lot's wife. The fun was nisen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fore from the Lord out of heaven. And heoverthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cią ties, and that which grew upon the ground. -And Abraham gat up early in the morning, to the place where he stood before the Lord. And he came just in time to witness the explofie on of the vengeance of eternal fire upon the accurfed cities. And he looked towards Sou dom and Gomorrah, and toward all the cities of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. When the wicked are cut off, THOU SHALT
The place where Abraham flood, was on the rising ground, on the western side of Sodom; and Lot went out on the oppo fite eastern side.
I have been the more particular in remark, ing upon this memorable event of divine providence, as it is said expressly, to be an
cmblem or picture of the final destruction of Great Babylon, and of the cities of the nations in confederacy with her. And Babylon the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the haldees excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. Ifai. xiii. 19.
Though, undoubtedly, at the time of the end, when the transgressors are come to the full, and the times of the Gentiles are ful. filled, and the finilhing catastrophe will come upon the ungodly, there will be many thou. sands of righteous souls in the world; yet it is manifest from the scriptures, that from various unhappy causes, they will be found in no condition of order and strength, so as to be able to make a stand against the overspreading deluge of iniquity. And I heard the man cloathed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand, and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever, that it mall be for a time, times and a half: and when he shall have ACCOMPLISHED to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things frall be fiNISHED. Dan. xü.
7: The righteous, at that perilous juncture, whatever may be their numbers, will be irod. den down and scartered-they will be at the end of all their skill and prowess--and will be no more able to rehit the torrent of apostacy and wickedness, than was the righteous man dwelling alone in Sodom. Then all the wicked of the earth will know, to their sorrow, what wrong they have done in their own fouls, in dispiling, opposing, and wears
ing out the saints of the most high. Ali ther, all the proud and scornful of the earth will be convinced of their mistake, and too late will confess the truth which they had often been told, that the righteous, their reprovers, were their best friends.
This weak, broken, and forlorn state of the righteous, as to their influence and ieftimony in the world, will not all, nor even in the greatest part, take place by means of the opposition from without. Neither earth not hell could effect so much, by means of their own proper forces; but the greatest evil will .arise from apoftacy and corruption within. There will be among the covenant people themselves, a great many sons in-law-men who love their ownlelves and the world, and the things which are in the world; through whose debates and strifes, for their own things, the great compact and settlement of the people in their embodied and organized 1łate, will be disquieted and disturbed ; and this, to such a suffering degree, that the most faithful, the dearest brethren, and even the fathers themselves, will be forced, through painful necessity, to sectarize and separate.-And it has long been known, that a breach of this nature, is like the breaking forth of waters--it will continue still to widen by new fecarisms, until it becomes great like the sea; who can heal it?
It will be remembered, that the weak and ineficient flate that Lot was found in, was occasioned at first by a strife between the herdsacn of Abraham and of Lot, which caused